As I have said a while back, the bad thing about this election for mayor is that someone has to win and for El Paso, thats a bad thing.
As I have said before, neither candidate is someone I feel good about voting for. Now as I have said before I have voted for a Republican previously. It was a judicial race and I feel okay with it because the guy was just a better choice and the Democrat in that race was Manny Barraza. I don't like the idea of electing judges in the first place but that is the system we have in Texas.
But the mayoral position is a policy position. Party affiliation is about values, priorities, and governing styles. If you won't vote for a Republican in a policy position like commissioners court, state rep, congress or basically any other policy-making elected position, why on earth would you not be concerned about party when it comes to local policy?
That is why I am urging people to truly express their feelings about the field of candidates. We don't have to accept a crappy field of candidates. We don't have to be okay with candidates that would be considered weak even if it was a school board race. We don't have to accept mediocrity from candidates.
Not only do we not have to accept a crappy field, we shouldn't. When we do so, with low voter participation and making a binary choice, we are sending the message that we are okay with whatever terrible or unworthy candidate wants to put their name on the ballot. We have the ability to send a message that we reject the slate of candidates on the ballot.
We can undervote.
An undervote is when you go into the ballot booth and choose to not accept either candidate. You can just skip the mayor's race and vote in the judicial races. There are plenty of down-ballot races you can vote in.
Undervoting is a much different action than not voting. Let me be clear about that. The easy thing to do is to not vote, and with record-low voter turnout, it is likely a reflection of the fact that no one liked the field of candidates. Staying at home and not going to the polls is what most people have done in El Paso elections and with the really low talent in the mayoral race, its easy to see why.
But the undervote sends a louder message. Its not encouraging people to stay home. Its actually quite the opposite. Going through the trouble of going to the polls and not selecting either candidate sends a strong message. Its saying you reject the final option of having to choose between two candidates that are wrong for El Paso.
Especially if you're a Democrat, and frankly, especially if you're raza. I truly believe in the values of my Party. I believe in the policy priorities my Party stands for and they don't go away just because I am left with the choice of having to choose the lesser of two evils. I don't just dust off some slogans from the Democratic Party every four years during a presidential.
As the presidential race has shown, choosing between the lesser of two evils has real world consequences.
I'm most especially talking to you older voters that don't like Dee Margo, mostly because he's white. I get it, it was a lot harder for you back in the day and Dee Margo looks and sounds like the face of all those people who wouldn't hire you, payed you a low wage, talked about you like you weren't there right in front of them, were condescending, promoted other less-qualified people over you because you weren't the right color, threw their money around etc.
I completely understand that. Trust me, I do.
But voting for Saucedo because of what Margo represents to you isn't any better. Saucedo is a brown Trump, and its worse because he's raza.
Undervoting won't prevent either of these terrible candidates from winning, but it does send a message when they have a really high undervote that even when there is historically low voter participation, that even the people that actually did go out to vote didn't vote for them.
Trust me, elected officials pay attention to the undervote. It is a slap in the face to them. It says that for whatever reason a voter went out to the polls, voting in other races and then skipped voting for them.
So if you truly believe in the values of our Party, of a fair wage for working families, equal pay for women, access to affordable healthcare and better education, investment in people and programs, and most importantly in a border community, comprehensive immigration reform - then you can't vote for either candidate. These are issues and values that aren't just for presidential years. They are issues that affect American families and El Pasoans every single day, not just empty platitudes.
And most especially don't vote for a Tio Taco who is banking on people voting for him because he's brown after having invited not only an anti-immigrant like Lou Holtz, but even Donald Trump to this community. I know some of you think, well he's better than voting for Dee Margo, porque es mexicano.
Well he's not better, and in many ways he's much worse. I'll get into that in another post, but the short of it is when you have one of our own advocating for bad border policy its worse than when Margo does.
If you vote straight ticket because you believe in the values of the Party, then you have a moral obligation to undervote in the mayoral race.
Send the right message. Do the right thing. Undervote.